Civil rights lawyer calls on Grantsville school to investigate alleged racist bullying, assault

Dec 14, 2023, 10:16 PM | Updated: 10:28 pm

GRANTSVILLE — A Utah civil rights lawyer is calling on a Tooele County elementary school to investigate alleged incidents of racist bullying that he said led to an assault against a student.

Attorney Tyler Ayres, who is representing one of the families, said two students from two different families at Grantsville Elementary School have endured racial slurs and fighting, and it escalated to the point that he said a student was assaulted Thursday and parents called police.

Ayres said the mother of a boy who attends Grantsville Elementary reported her son was being assaulted and threatened by other students because of his race during school.

He said when the student ran to his teacher to report it, the teacher grabbed him and said, “I don’t care.” Ayres said the young boy was shaken up by the incident and that the mother called the teacher herself, at first.

“When confronted by the student’s mother, the teacher said, ‘Well, I didn’t say that I don’t care. I said, ‘I don’t care that much,'” Ayres said. “I don’t understand the parsing out of words… we’re hopeful that the Tooele School District will get to the bottom of this.”

He said the parents also reported calling the police about the assault. KSL TV has reached out to the Grantsville Police Department for information.

“We want to know that all of the children who are at Grantsville Elementary School, as well as any other school in this state, are being protected equally and that when one of them asks for help, they’re not put off,” Ayres said.

He explained that he’s now trying to meet with the Tooele County School District and is calling upon them to investigate, take disciplinary action where necessary, and work on additional training for teachers.

“[The student] wants to be able to come back and feel safe here, and right now, his family is struggling with that,” Ayres said. “Hopefully, over the Christmas break, they and the school district and the school can work something out. So that he doesn’t have to come here and be afraid.”

The parents in Thursday’s alleged incident are keeping their child home for the remainder of the year, Ayres said, and the student will not be returning to school Friday.

Ayres said the parents of the other student pulled them out of school in the past month because of alleged racist bullying, and he said that student is now being homeschooled.

Rae Duckworth, operating chairperson for the Utah Chapter of Black Lives Matter, said they are offering the family and boy support as needed and will be watching to see what happens with the district.

The Tooele County School District released a statement Thursday evening:

Tooele County School District is aware of an investigation at Grantsville Elementary School. Upon notification, district administration promptly collaborated with Grantsville Police to address the accusations. We remain dedicated to ensuring a safe learning environment for our students and teachers.


KSL 5 TV Live

Courts & Legal

man holds gun...

Shelby Lofton

Expert breaks down how far someone can legally go to protect their Utah property

A tense interaction between a snowboarder and a Brighton man has started conversation on Utah's trespassing laws, and now an expert is weighing in.

8 hours ago

Judge in robes sits in courtroom...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

Judge rules public gets to see Utah attorney general’s work calendar

A judge sided with KSL, finding the Utah Attorney General’s work calendar is a record the public has a right to see.

14 hours ago

Jam-Master Jay...

Eric Levenson and Jeff Winter, CNN

2 men found guilty of murder in 2002 killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Two men were found guilty of murder Tuesday in the 2002 killing of Jam Master Jay, the pioneering DJ of the groundbreaking hip hop trio Run-DMC, in a case that for decades frustrated detectives and music fans alike.

15 hours ago

FILE - A young golden eagle is released above Rogers Pass by a wildlife biologist on Oct. 6, 2005, ...

Matthew Brown, The Associated Press

Man to plead guilty to helping kill 3,600 eagles, other birds and selling feathers prized by tribes

A Washington state man accused of helping kill more than 3,000 birds — including eagles on a Montana Indian reservation — then illegally selling their feathers intends to plead guilty to illegal wildlife trafficking and other criminal charges, court documents show.

16 hours ago

A North Salt Lake woman agues before she is arrest in December of 2020. She has filed a federal law...

Collin Leonard,

Bountiful officer in $1M lawsuit was reprimanded for punching woman, 64, in the face

Bountiful police determined a corporal used excessive force when he punched a 64-year-old woman in the face and broke her jaw in December 2020. She has filed a federal lawsuit.

2 days ago

Alexander Smirnov leaves court in Las Vegas on February 20, 2024. (CNN)...

Cheri Mossburg and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

Ex-FBI informant Smirnov will remain in jail while he awaits trial, judge rules

Ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov will remain in jail while he awaits trial, a federal judge in California ruled Monday.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Civil rights lawyer calls on Grantsville school to investigate alleged racist bullying, assault